Governor’s task force hears stories of Lyme disease in Roanoke

Excerpted from  ( Posted: 03/16/2011 ) 

An octogenarian flower gardener from Fincastle. A Bedford County dairy farmer. A Roanoke nurse and former triathlete.

About 50 people waited to share a five-minute version of their battle with Lyme disease with the Governor’s Lyme Disease Task Force on Tuesday night in Roanoke.

Chartered with making recommendations on the diagnosis and treatment of the controversial disease, the task force listened for three hours as patients told their stories, many of them choking back tears as they read from prepared remarks.

In some cases, relatives testified on behalf of loved ones who were too sick to speak. In Wayne Sowder’s case, he read for his wife, Johnette, who died last fall of complications he connects to chronic Lyme.

The story became familiar as the three-hour meeting marched on — a tick bite, followed by flulike symptoms, followed by debilitating pain and neurological issues that stretched on for years in many cases.

Nearly all of those testifying spoke of being dismissed by area doctors, of being told “there is no Lyme in Virginia,” despite more than 1,000 confirmed cases by the Virginia Department of Health last year

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~ by Rob on March 17, 2011.

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